F1 Bahrain Testing 2024: Sainz sets new benchmark in uninterrupted afternoon session on Day 2, ahead of Pérez and Hamilton

Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari
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As the morning session was cut short due to a drain cover issue, and the subsequent track inspection that ensued, the afternoon session was moved up to start at 14:00 local time, with running time extended until roughly 19:00.

Charles Leclerc was perhaps most affected by the issue, with Ferrari confirming the drain cover had inflicted damage on the floor of the SF-24. Having carried out repairs during the stoppage, the team allowed Leclerc to get back behind the wheel as the afternoon session got underway, with the Monégasque banking some early laps before switching with teammate Carlos Sainz as agreed. 

Red Bull also modified their game plan, opting to keep Sergio Pérez behind the wheel for both sessions after his morning was hampered by a brake fire, and later the drain cover-related red flag. 

The remaining drivers penciled in for the afternoon shift were Ocon, Stroll, Magnussen, Norris, Hamilton (full day), Ricciardo, Bottas and Sargeant (full day). 

Pérez’s first day of running wasn’t the smooth affair it had been for Verstappen yesterday as he continued to encounter issues. Less than halfway into the session he slowed to a crawl and rolled into the pitlane for checks. Luckily for the Mexican, the problem proved solvable, and he was soon able to get back out on track.

McLaren’s Lando Norris was briefly seen outside the cockpit as the team carried out some checks on his car, but much like Pérez, the British driver soon got going again without much trouble. 

Ferrari continued to top the timesheets, with Sainz going fastest overall, posting a 1m29.921s on the C4 tyre (for comparison, Verstappen claimed pole at this circuit last year with a 1:29.708). Pérez went second on the C3 tyre with a 1:30.684, while Hamilton rounded off the top three with a 1:31.066. 

Pérez ultimately managed to make up for the time he lost in the morning, completing 129 laps. Of the remaining drivers who spent the entire day behind the wheel, Hamilton completed 123, and Sargeant 117.

The afternoon session proved to be less dramatic than its AM counterpart, with drivers carrying out their race simulations and going for some glory runs without any major interruptions. 

Towards the end of the session, a practice red flag was thrown as some operational tests were carried out, after which the drivers had the opportunity to act out a rolling start procedure and simulate a race start. 

That concluded Day 2 of pre-season testing 2024.

Day 2 standings and laps completed: 

1 Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 1m29.921s, C4, 84 laps
2 Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +0.758s, C3, 129 laps
3 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +1.145s, C3, 123 laps
4 Lando Norris (McLaren) +1.335s, C3, 52 laps
5 Daniel Ricciardo (RB) +1.490s, C4, 88 laps
6 Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +1.829s, C3, 54 laps
7 Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) +2.108s, C3, 96 laps
8 Esteban Ocon (Alpine) +2.140s, C3, 78 laps
9 Valtteri Bottas (Sauber) +2.306s, C3, 97 laps
10 Oscar Piastri (McLaren) +2.407s, C3, 35 laps
11 Logan Sargeant (Williams) +2.657s, C4, 117 laps
12 Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) +3.132s, C3, 31 laps
13 Zhou Guanyu (Sauber) +3.794s, C3, 38 laps
14 Pierre Gasly (Alpine) +3.883s, C3, 33 laps
15 Kevin Magnussen (Haas) +6.690s, C3, 93 laps
16 Nico Hulkenberg (Haas) +7.588s, C3, 31 laps
17 Yuki Tsunoda (RB) +8.153s, C2, 40 laps